I’m not particularly quick at updating this page yet; hopefully that will come with practice, however I don’t think that means I shouldn’t share with you my thoughts on a couple of shows I’ve been luckily enough to attend in the last week.
Although I’m still based in Leicester for the summer, I travelled down to the capital this week to catch two shows: Public Access TV at The Old Blue Last on the 23rd and Tall Juan at the Shacklewell Arms on the 27th.
They’ll most certainly be the first of many of these types of review when I’m back in Lan-dan from September.
Public Access TV w/ Dead Pretties & Palma Violets (DJ Set), Old Blue Last
The Dead Pretties are a London-based three piece who I can’t decide whether I like or not. They blazed on stage full of energy, and immediately had everyone’s attention, frontman Jacob Slater struggling to stand still, and screaming into the microphone in between songs, not just during. He portrayed himself as almost deranged, writhing around off the handle.
The songs themselves were ramshackle punk and not short of energy – certainly very entertaining. The bass of Oscar Browne was a highlight throughout, not only holding the show together but standing proud through the distortion.
They left the stage in a wave of punk nostalgia, smashing their instruments and ploughing through the crowd to the dressing room without a backwards glance.
It was most certainly one hell of a spectacle, but whether it was a contrived act or not, is a question I still can’t answer. I’m divided on them for this reason exactly.
Here’s a performance they gave at the same venue back in February; see what you think.
The number of people in the room trebled for the arrival of New York’s Public Access TV. The band have been making waves both sides of the Atlantic for over two years now, with a number of well-crafted catchy singles and a brilliant EP, Public Access – EP.
I actually caught them supporting Hinds (still called Deers then) in 2014 and was blown away then by John Eatherly. He has that je ne sais quoi that sets the best musicians apart. They operate on a different plane to us, effortlessly melting hearts, moving feet and banging heads.
He was the highlight in that performance, now however, they are well and truly a band, creating an incredible atmosphere that harks back to they heyday of dance floor indie in the mid-noughties. I firmly believe that no one could have been at this show and not had fun.
They also treated us to 3 new songs from their soon to be released debut album Never Enough. I’m counting down the days to its release.
Have a listen to some of their previous releases here.
The night was closed out by a DJ set from Palma Violet’s bassist and character Chilli Jesson, who also produced PATV’s single “In Love and Alone.” I was pretty excited to see what he had to offer, after seeing him have one hell of a time watching the previous bands. Sadly, he just pressed play on a Spotify playlist and danced with his girlfriend in the booth.
The only disappointment from an otherwise cracking night of live music.
Tall Juan, Shacklewell Arms
Argentinian Tall Juan has previously described as a “Latin Elvis inspired by the Ramones” and I don’t think there has been a more apt description for the beautiful chaos that I witnessed that night.
Armed just with his nylon-string acoustic guitar, he ripped through his collection of songs (none longer than two minutes) with infectious energy. Strutting and thrusting himself around the stage.
It’s hard to get away from the Ramones comparison when you hear his fast and furious guitar playing style (he even played a cover.) Even his charisma was right out of the Ramones’ playbook. Losing his shirt halfway through, he proceeded to throw himself around like a man possessed, complete with an epic finale. It involved him head-butting and throwing the mic stand around, before crawling around on the floor to sing into the microphone that had made a run for it.
It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. And for this reason, despite the lack of musical breadth, I will never forget this show.
You can listen to some of his recordings here, including the Why Not EP, that was produced by Mac DeMarco.